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300tube Big Think   8 January, 2017

The Science of Productivity and Motivation | Dan Ariely

Feeling motivated at work feels good, and it's good for business. But employees and managers don't always see eye-to-eye on this very important topic, as behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains. Managers too often associate motivation with efficiency — since their goal is typically to run the company more efficiently — and try to achieve efficiency by automating workflow and prioritizing short-term goals. Those efforts, however, tend to demotivate employees. Managers should encourage workers to use their creative energies, rather than be automatons, and help them set long term goals, which according to Ariely are the real key to motivation and satisfaction. Ariely's latest book is "Payoff:  The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations" (


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Transcript - So the reality is that businesses are complex. People do lots of things. We need to change lots of things all the time. And everybody is stressed for time. So we start treating things a bit more mechanical. People are automatons and they are producing some gadgets or they’re making some output. And part of it is lack of time, part of it is lack of attention. But there’s a consequence I think we’re really killing the motivation that the people have. I think that this idea that we need to from the company to employees say thank you more frequently. Saying we’ve seen your effort, here’s what you contributed to. Here is your name connected to it is important. The other things we don’t spend enough time on is the commitment of the team members to each other. Again we had this functional view. We’re paying for your time. Come here but we don’t really get people’s minds and souls and so on. And one way to do it is to get the team members. I was in California not too long ago and I was visiting a startup and I asked them how often do they stay after midnight working. And they said quite often and they told me that the night before they stayed until they said after midnight. I said how did it work out? And they said that one of the team members was late on something and she was going to stay until late. And the other team members decided out of camaraderie to stay with her. Read Full Transcript Here:

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